Jason Bateman makes a decent directorial debut with Bad Words, a nasty little movie about a man on a vengeful path to win a spelling bee for reasons unknown.

Bateman plays Guy Trilby, a man with amazing spelling capabilities who enters a children’s spelling bee upon noticing an eligibility loophole. Guy is super-pissed for some reason, and he refuses to step aside when parents and organizers beg him to be mature and let the kids spell.

The film takes on a bit of a Bad Santa vibe when the vulgar Guy winds up palling around with one of the kids (Rohan Chand). Shenanigans ensue involving hookers and booze; and Bateman does a decent job pushing the boundaries of bad taste while keeping things entertaining and relatively good-natured.

The big reveal—the motive behind Guy’s mission—isn’t all that surprising, and is even a bit anticlimactic. No matter; Bateman and Chand provide enough laughs to overcome any plot contrivances.

Special Features: Bateman provides a commentary, and there are deleted and extended scenes. There’s also a brief behind-the-scenes look.